The news Donna Summer passing is still fresh. While many are saddened by the passing because of her style and grace, we will always remember her for her musical contribution. Part of that contribution is the artists she inspired directly or indirectly. In remembrance of the Queen of Disco, The Urban Daily is running down a list of five artists who took a cue from Donna Summer to create their own musical career.
Rest in Peace Donna Summer!
When Beyonce performed at the 2008 Grammy Awards to honor Tina Turner, she mentioned Summer as an influence during the performance’s opening. Without Summer, Beyonce wouldn’t know the art of sexy seductive singing while keeping it classy. Tell me another singer who could sing the provocative lyrics of “Love To Love Ya Baby” without sounding like a cheap floozy? Beyonce took that notion and ran with it. As suggestive as Bey’s “Naughty Girl” video was, it still remained classy. Give the Queen her due.
Though Aaliyah is praised for her dancing and airy coos, she was the product of Donna Summer meeting the hip-hop generation. Disco was huge for a time until everything began to all sound the same. Donna Summer came in and changed that. Aaliyah did the same thing for hip-hop and R&B. When everyone was chanting “Disco sucks!” they left Donna Summer alone because her music was all authentic. Aaliyah weathered her share of storms in the business, but we remember her as R&B’s angel because her music had an authentic feel.
Before you start looking at your computer screen all crazy, just hear me out. Pink has always won because of her talent and bold attitude. Donna Summer had the same attitude. Summer only approached things differently. Whereas Pink would punch you in the face and then ask questions, Donna Summer was strong in her views but knew you attract more bees with honey rather than vinegar. On top of personality traits, Pink definitely references Donna Summer’s work in more than a few of her videos.
Their vocal ranges and tones are totally different. However, Brandy was influenced by Summer because of stage presence. It is obvious Brandy is not a dancer. She tries, but it just doesn’t seem to be her thing. Brandy had to have studied a Donna Summer tape once or twice to realize you could have a presence on stage without having intricite dance routines. Donna Summer was a stand and deliver type of woman. Brandy is still trying to get there.
Donna Summer and Christina Aguilera are two of the best voices in music. Though Christina has a little more power behind the vocals than Summer, she still had to learn a thing or two. Summer had serious vocal chops and knew how to compliment uptempo dance numbers with vocal power. When Christina Aguilera debuted with “Genie In A Bottle,” she displayed those same techniques. You know how the saying goes, if it aint broke don’t fix it. Christian Aguilera kept true to that notion during the beginning of her career and won. She started losing when she started thinking she was Lady Gaga and not Donna Summer.
Who else should have or could have made this list?